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Pierre Cardin: Time capsule chic

Hang it all, I know you are not meant to like Pierre Cardin anymore, but the brand’s revival show under the late designer’s nephew does have its moments.

Pierre Cardin – Spring-Summer2024 – Womenswear – France – Paris – © Launchmetrics

Cardin was in a very real sense the ultimate capitalist fashion creator. At one stage he had over 600 licenses, making him the first designer to become a truly global brand.
Yet, for this first show since last year’s epic event inside Le Bourget air terminal, his nephew Rodrigo Basilicati-Cardin chose the historic headquarters of French Communist Party, designed by Oscar Niemeyer.

This spring/summer 2023 collection felt frequently like remakes of classic Cardin looks from his heyday in the early 60s when he was fashion’s most revolutionary designer.
Starring a half-dozen short colorful intarsia dresses cut halfway up the thigh – swinging London meets St Germain. All highly wearable, and surely Instagram friendly. Who knows with some smart merchandising there could be a Cardin renaissance.
Plus, Cardin’s old futurist leanings were respected with space-age plastic tunics, Star Trek jackets, lots of metallic trim. Best look in show: a shiny emerald-green space dracula cape.
Most models wearing Destination Moon visor glasses or made up with a blue band of face paint across their eyes. Blue was the key color, on the runway and even illuminating the ceiling of the main council chambre of the party’s headquarters.

Pierre Cardin – Spring-Summer2024 – Womenswear – France – Paris – © Launchmetrics

Rodrigo, an engineer by training who has named himself creative director, did break some new ground, draping and curling yards of silk into over-the-top gowns.
“It was a chance to express what Cardin is all about,” said Rodrigo, attired in one of his uncle’s classic blazers – cut with one button placed practically at the belt and finished with uber wide vents. 
Scores of serious middle-aged men in dark blue suits milling about afterwards were evidently the licensors on which was built the fortune of Cardin – at one stage estimated by Forbes at €600 million. 
There was even an appearance by two princesses: Carolina and Chiara Bourbon de Sicile, with their proud mum, Princess Camilla, the Duchess of Castro, sitting front-row.
Carolina in an Aegean blue organza floaty gown with white petal neckline, while Chiara donned a light green moiré silk cocktail pulled up at the back and held together by Yves Klein blue disk.
“We order yards and yards of silk, and then just began playing,” beamed Rodrigo, evidently enjoying his new role immensely.

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